I love chicken livers — quite a bit.
Battered and deep fried, pan fried with butter and onions, grilled, pureed into pâté or chopped liver, mixed into pasta sauce — they’re delicious even with apples or as a pierogi filling.
Of course, chicken livers aren’t for everyone. Apart from the appearance, some people can’t get over their distinct flavor, but maybe it’s better this way. If everyone started eating chicken livers — and loving them —it would mean that those $1 tubs at the grocery store would not only raise in price but become rather difficult to find. I already have enough difficulty trying to find cow tongue at the West Side Market, and I can’t bear the thought of a similar experience with chicken livers. I remember a story my mother told me about buying beef kidneys for her cat. At the time, they were 10 cents a pound (this was in the 1960s). But after a few purchases, the butcher got wise and started charging 19 cents, almost doubling the price.
So before chicken livers become the next food trend, sold by the organic, free-range, grain-fed dozen in fancy packaging, enjoy them while you can while they are abundant and rather inexpensive. Just keep this delicious treat to yourself!
Chicken Liver Pasta
1/2 stick butter
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 slice ham, cut into pieces
1 lb. chicken livers, chopped
1/2 C Marsala wine
Pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste
Grated cheese to taste
Favorite egg noodles or Italian pasta
For the pasta
Boil your chosen pasta in heavily salted water until al dente or slightly undercooked. Drain well.
For the sauce
In a pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter before adding the garlic and the mushrooms. Sauté for two to three minutes before adding the chicken livers. Sauté an additional minute or two before adding the Marsala wine. As the alcohol cooks off, lower the heat and stir occasionally for another minute or two.
Add the remaining butter and the ham and stir to evenly distribute before adding the pasta. Mix well at a low temperature for a good minute, allowing the sauce to cook into the pasta and evaporate any excess water.
After plating, garnish with chives, crushed pepper, sea salt, and grated cheese.